Agribusiness group Wilmar International has posted a more than four-time increase in its net profit for the second quarter ended June 30.
Net profit soared to US$316.4 million (S$435 million) from US$59 million, lifted by stronger performances from the oilseeds and grains as well as the tropical oils segments, coupled with better contributions from associates.
The oilseeds and grains segment, in particular, outperformed by 381.2 per cent from a year ago due to improvements in soya bean crushing volumes and margins, and a good performance from the consumer products business.
Meanwhile, the tropical oils segment boasted a 165 per cent rise in pre-tax profit due to better performances from the midstream and downstream businesses.
The sugar segment saw a smaller loss of US$46.2 million compared with a year ago, attributed to a better showing by the group's merchandising and processing operations.
Revenue for the quarter was up 1.9 per cent to US$10.8 billion, mainly due to higher sales volume and commodity prices from the oilseeds and grains segment, offset by lower commodity prices in both the tropical oils and sugar segments.
Chairman and chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong said trade tensions between the US and China improved crush margins in the short term, but a prolonged dispute will have a negative impact due to lower plant utilisation.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: US$10.8 billion (+1.9%)
NET PROFIT: US$316.4 million (+436.6%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 3.5 cents (+16.7%)
"Nevertheless, we expect our other businesses such as consumer products, rice and flour milling to perform reasonably well in the coming quarters.
"While sustained low palm oil prices will affect our plantation business, our downstream businesses will benefit from increased demand and better margins for its products.
"Sugar performance should also improve in the second half of the year, with the commencement of the crushing season in June," he added.
Earnings per share rose to five US cents, from 0.9 US cent previously.
The group has declared an interim ordinary dividend of 3.5 cents per share, up from 3 cents.
Wilmar's shares closed down six cents to $3.13 yesterday.
Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said that Wilmar International's shares closed at $3.13 on Monday, up six cents. This is incorrect. It was in fact down six cents. We are sorry for the error.